Youth group calls for more support

Stanley Royd playing fields / park, Wakefield.'w5234b120
Stanley Royd playing fields / park, Wakefield.'w5234b120

YOUTH workers say they will struggle to provide activities for young people without greater support from Wakefield Council.

The Next Generation Youth Community Project, which works with children in Eastmoor in a range of sports and other activities on the Stanley Royd Playing Fields, is finding it difficult to meet the costs of maintaining the site.

Project leader Mohammed Ayub said anti-social behaviour has increased on the fields since a drinking ban was introduced in the College Grove area in March.

He said: “The council is always talking about working together, so let’s actually work together in our neighbourhoods instead of just saying that as a throw-away statement.

“We accept that the fields are on private land, but without the services we provide on there many of the children would be spending their evenings on the streets.

“We just feel we need some support.

“The drinking ban has just moved problem drinkers onto the playing fields. Some of the council’s policies are doing us more harm than good.”

Next Generation leases the site from Wakefield Grammar Schools Foundation (WGSF).

A spokeswoman for Wakefield Council said: “Our Street Scene managers recently met with members of Next Generation to address their concerns and the Council will look to provide help and support to the community group where it can.”

Insp Lis Walker, of Wakefield Central neighbourhood police team (NPT) confirmed that reports of anti-social behaviour on the playing fields were on the rise.

Nine incidents have been reported since the drinking ban was imposed in March.

There were six reports from the start of the year up until the start of the ban.

Insp Walker said: “Police powers to deal with alcohol misuse on the fields are severely restricted due to the fact that it is private land. We will however assist the owners of the land to try to help them remedy this problem.”